An SUV made for the city
It has a good green rating and lots of bells and whistles, but it might struggle off-road, CHRIS RILEYsays
WE turn the spotlight on the car world’s newest and brightest stars as we ask the questions to which you want the answers. But there’s only one question that really needs answering: Would you buy one?
WHAT IS IT?
Peugeot’s tiny SUV, an offroad version of the 208 hatch if you like — although we can’t see this one going very far off road. This is the mid-grade, two-wheel drive Allure model with a 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine.
Prices start from $21,990 for the three-cylinder version. This one will set you back $27,990 but that does not include an auto (another $2000). The top of the range diesel is $31,990.
The most direct competitor is Renault’s Captur, a Cliobased SUV but it still yet to get to these shores despite the fact we drove the car more than a year ago. You could also take a look at the Ford EcoSport, Holden Trax or Nissan Qashqai.
UNDER THE BONNET?
The 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine is of the older multi-point injection mould and delivers 88kW of power and 160Nm of torque, without the help of forced induction. Our test vehicle was the fivespeed manual.
HOW DOES IT GO?
The 1.6 is not overly powerful. It offers satisfying performance in the mid-range, but still lacks torque down low, and this translates to leisurely acceleration off the line.
IS IT ECONOMICAL?
Rated at 5.9 litres/100km, we were getting 8.1 litres/100km (long-term average was 7.2).
IS IT GREEN?
Produces 135g/km carbon dioxide. Gets 4.5 out of five stars from the Government’s Green Vehicle Guide (the benchmark is the Prius with 5).
IS IT SAFE?
Gets a full five stars for safety from ANCAP, with six airbags, a rear view camera, electronic traction and stability control and anti-lock brakes with brake assist and electronic brake force distribution.
IS IT COMFORTABLE?
Sharing 67 per cent of components with the 208 hatch, it’s 20cm longer, sits 10cm higher and is just over 70kg heavier than the hatch, but has the same wheelbase. Rear legroom is good but would be cramped with three adults. Not fans of the large fixed sunroof with its mesh shade that looks like it will be hot in summer.
WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?
Not bad. Bright and user - friendly with plenty of vision and a large seven-inch computer screen that dominates the cabin.
The drive experience in our test car was marred by a terrible clutch with late take-up. The five-speed manual is, however, easy to use and the whole experience was generally pleasant. Satnav provides current speed limit and you can display the car’s speed digitally, but no warnings for cameras or school zones.
IS IT VALUE FOR MONEY?
Standard kit on the mid-spec Allure includes climate air, power windows and mirrors, 16-inch alloys, keyless entry, trip computer, fog lights, auto dim mirror, auto wipers and lights, LED daytime runners, rear parking sensors, rear view camera, cruise control with speed limiter, six-speaker audio with steering wheel controls, AUX/USB input and Bluetooth with audio streaming (there’s no CD player).
WOULD WE BUY ONE?
Yes. The small engine and compact dimensions make sense in a city context, but could fall short on the open road.